Respiratory Care Program Meeting Minutes

June 16, 2021, 2 p.m.

Meeting Place



Kristin King


Members in Attendance

Cynthia Maskey-Dean, Health Professions; Vern Lindquist-Vice President, Academic Services; Karen Sanders-Executive Director, LLCC Foundation; Lindsey Weihmeir, Admissions Specialist; Rajagopal Sreedhar-Medical Director; Jan Szoke-Program Director; Michael Meyers-Clinical Coordinator; Lori Badgley, Instructor; Stevi Surratt, Instructor, Passavant Manager; Greg Lowe-Public member; Shelby Hildebrand-Class of 2022; Sarah Higar-DMH Educator; Emily Hasara-Science Teacher, Tricity; Kristin King-, St. John’s Hospital-Chair, Class 2016; Wendy Miller, St. John’s Hospital; Lori Valentine, MMC; Micaela Childress-Student Success Coach; Sheryl Roberts, MMC; Gina Hoots, Decatur Memorial Hospital; Sheila Leggett, Springfield Clinic; Carol Ramm-ALA in Illinois; Lora Polley, Taylorville Memorial Hospital; John Sanford, OSF-Peoria

Members Absent

Don Laws, St. John’s Hospital; Matt Buchanan, Carlinville Area Hospital; Stephanie Zilch, OSF-Peoria




  1. Welcome and open the meeting
  2. CoARC Award
  3. CoARC Annual Report 2020 and 2021
  4. TMC and CSE Action Plan for 2020
  5. Outcomes for 2021 Grads so far
  6. CoARC surveys 2021
  7. Current/Upcoming Cohorts
  8. RT students in publications
  9. Upcoming Events for continuing accreditation
  10. Report from Lab Coordinator
  11. Report from Clinical Coordinator
  12. Other: Chairperson for 2022


1. Welcome and open the meeting

2. CoARC Award

  • LLCC has been recognized for the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award. This is our first time receiving this award. Thanks, given to faculty and clinical sites for helping us with this program! Congratulations given from Cynthia Maskey, Kristin King, Dr. Sreedhar, and Shery Roberts!
    • In selecting programs for this recognition, the CoARC Board used objective criteria based on key accreditation metrics documented in the 2020 Annual Report of Current Status (RCS). These programs were required to: (1) have three or more years of outcomes data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report; (3) documentation RRT credentialing success of 90% or above, and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for TMC high cut score and retention. Please see the attached brochure and the CoARC Website for a list of this year's recipients. The CoARC extends its sincere congratulations to you, your faculty, students, and graduates for meeting these rigorous criteria.

3. CoARC Annual Report 2020 and 2021

  • Jan showed portions of the annual report. We have met all thresholds for the current and previous 3-year average. One 2020 grad earned the CRT but did not continue. She also did not work in the field due to personal issues. Those that count against us are academic withdrawals. Personal withdrawals do not count toward retention statistics.


    Job placement does not have a threshold due to areas of the country not having job opportunities although there has been a turnaround in the need for RT, especially in our region.  Employers are satisfied with their employees per employee surveys. Graduates are also satisfied with their education from our program according to their survey results.

4. TMC and CSE Action Plan for 2020

  • Jan showed the TMC/CSE mean averages in each subcategory for 2020 as well as a comparison over a 3-year period. One thing to note is that the exams changed in 2020.
  • The low-cut score is 86 for CRT and high cut score of 92 to sit for the clin sim exam to become RRT. If students do not meet the high-cut score, they must take the TMC to obtain the 92 or above before they can sit for the clin sim.
  • An analysis and action plan are needed for sections 3H (TMC), 2B and 3D (CSE) for the 2020 Cohort.
  • Analysis:
    • 3H (TMC) -For 2020 our grads scored 75%. The 2019 cohort scored 90% and the 2018 cohort scored 120%. The curriculum essentially had not changed during this period, however the new TMC exam rolled out January of 2020.
    • 2B (CSE) -The 2020 cohort scored 84% of national mean for the CSE. This same cohort scored 120% of national mean in the same category of the TMC. The prior 2 cohorts (2019 and 2018) scored 104% of national mean in this category for the CSE.
    • 3D (CSE) -The 2020 cohort scored 82% of national mean for the CSE. This same cohort scored 117% of national mean in the same category of the TMC. The prior 2 cohorts (2019 and 2018) scored 96% and 101% of national mean in this category for the CSE.
  • Action Plan:


    • 3H (TMC)- We added more emphasis on conscious sedation and specialized bronchoscopy in keeping with the new test matrix to the third semester course -summer 2020. We are consulting with our medical director for continued guidance in this area. We are planning to meet with Dr. Sreedhar to review curriculum soon.
    • Dr. Sreedhar reports that there are several EBUS being done at both SJH and MMC; Gina reports EBUS at DMH. Dr. Sreedhar states that we do not have the ability to do ENAB at this time, but he believes MMC is looking to purchase supplies later this year.
    • 2B and 3D (CSE)-Fall 2020 we started utilizing Kettering Classmate, case studies and care plans during the first semester and throughout the program to facilitate application, critical thinking and decision making early in the program.
  • Cynthia notes that we should keep doing what we are doing, the mismatch is interesting how our students score high in the TMC and lower in the Clin Sim in 2B and 3D.
  • Exam Prep:  We will no longer be using RT Board Review. It has been a very good web-based program but is no longer supporting its clients. Jan is working on an alternative through using “Comprehensive Respiratory Therapy Exam-Preparation Guide” and AARC Exam Prep (Free videos and PowerPoint slides for AARC members). We are using Kettering Classmate to help with the CSE.

5. Outcomes for 2021 Grads so far

  • CRT - 6 (high cut score)
  • RRT - 2
  • 2 grads have not taken the exams yet—one student is helping his mom with a staffing issue at their personal business.

6. CoARC surveys 2021

  • Jan reported that all the surveys have been favorable. One student rated classroom audiovisual equipment/technology (2.A.4) below acceptable but did not leave a comment. The student also rated equipment in the lab below acceptable (generally disagree) and commented “new equipment would be helpful with the fast changes the medical field experiences.”  Jan encouraged advisory committee to complete the program personnel survey this week if they have not done so.

7. Current/Upcoming Cohorts

  • Current cohort, started with 10, we currently have 5. Four withdrew before the end of the 1st semester, 1 academic drop at the end of 2nd semester. Smaller cohort was a mixed blessing due to COVID and social distancing.  It made it easier in lab and scheduling clinicals.
  • Jan reported the cohort for 2023. There are currently 13 on the list to start this fall. Last day to apply is July 26th, we continue to have interest.

8. RT students in publications

  • Jan reported that PRM featured our program in the April 2021 Forward Magazine. Lori Badgley, our lab coordinator also authored an article featuring a photo of our grads in the May 2021 “The Respiratory Tract” magazine for the Illinois Society for Respiratory Care.

9. Upcoming Events for continuing accreditation

  • Jan reported that we will be starting our Self-study in 2022 and the site visit would occur in 2023.

10. Report from Lab Coordinator

  • Spring of 2021 we were able to meet with a few of the LLCC nursing students to work together on simulations. These simulations focused on pediatric emergencies. Students were able to see the roles each other play in emergency situations, discuss how their view of each other’s roles have grown, and learn to work together to care for a patient. Both RTs and RNs find these IPEs beneficial to their learning. We would like to do more of these.  The biggest barrier is time to plan and develop simulations that will be helpful to both the RT and RN.
  • New Manikins
    • We have been able to purchase many new manikins since we met last. We purchased new CPR manikins. The adult manikins have sensors to alert both student and instructor on proper depth and rate. Our old manikins were breaking and chest cavities not staying on. We are going to be reviewing basic CPR at the beginning of every semester.
    • We were able to purchase 2 infant/Premi babies to continue improving our NICU/Pedi lab. One baby does not have all the bells and whistles but is able to be intubated and comes with different chest cavities to simulate normal lung vs pneumothorax. The second Premi baby is more high fidelity (we were able to get a League grant that helped pay for most of it) and comes with a control pad that allows us to simulate cyanosis and monitor the depth and rate of compressions.
    • A couple of years ago we discussed the need to replace our sim man (adult) due to airway compromise. Since the LLCC nursing program was amid purchasing a new manikin for that program, we were going to inherit their old manikin, which would come with a pristine airway. COVID of course slowed this progress, but we were finally able to get the manikin and will be using it this summer.
    • We continue to thank our clinical sites for helping supply our lab with equipment. I continue to receive many different types of disposable equipment from Memorial Medical Center. Supplies range from airways, ABG kits, nebulizers, trachs and everything in between. I received a couple new Bilevel units from Jacksonville hospital this past year. From SJH we were able to receive a stretcher for our manikin and demonstration models of the new Shiley trachs. I continue to be very thankful for all the donated supplies. We would never be able to run our lab fully without this help. If any of our clinical sites have equipment they would like to donate, just reach out and we will make efforts to come pick it up!
    • Our budget item request for FY 22 is another adult manikin that is vent friendly. With the manikin we are requesting, we can alter lung compliance and resistance. Most high-fidelity manikins do NOT do this, which makes teaching mechanical ventilation more difficult. Part of what we teach is looking at lung compliance and resistance and learning how to fix or change settings to improve patient outcomes. This is difficult to do when most high-fidelity manikins place the lungs under the electronics. This increases the pressure it takes to inflate the lungs which drastically changes compliance.
    • For now, we are going to keep our old sim man. Although running simulations with it is difficult due to the airway falling apart, it is something I can continue to use for simulations that do not involve intubation, or for vent education where the sim man is intubated ahead of time. This allows the instructor to do the intubation, ensure the airway is still together, before students arrive. If we can purchase the newer manikin, we will be looking to get rid of Stan---our old manikin.

11. Report from Clinical Coordinator

  • COVID - Mike reported that all clinical sites are open to students.
  • MMC/Affiliate hospitals and HSHS St. Johns continue to be our primary clinical sites. A thank you was given to our clinical facilities great staff/preceptors. We are always in need of more Preceptor Evaluators – Staff that can complete Procedure Assessments (PA-C) or Checkoffs for students. We have changed many of our forms and will be updating our preceptor training to reflect this. I would ask the department managers to encourage those staff you feel would make good preceptor evaluators to contact me.
  • We are dropping the ALA Helpline rotation due to their staff working remotely from home now due to Covid. The students used to spend 4 hours with an ALA Respiratory Therapist monitoring call from clients seeking counseling for several things like: smoking cessation, medications, lung disease, etc. Carol states that smoking cessation employees are more productive at home and will be staying at home for the near future.
  • SIU Pulmonary – We have added a rotation with the Pulmonary Fellows after the morning Critical Care Rounds. We also have a day students do Critical Care Rounds followed by an afternoon in the Clinic with the Pulmonologist. Special shout out to Breanne Frieze, FNP with SIU Pulmonary for all her help in selecting interesting patients for the students and getting them paired up with the fellows after rounds.

12. Other: Chairperson for 2022

  • Next week we will be sending out the minutes for approval. The minutes are then published on LLCC website.
  • Kristin King will be the chair for 2022.
  • Vern Lindquist: We appreciate the effort of all involved and this committee for this work.
  • Jan Szoke thanks all for their support!